Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Los Angeles City Hall

Talk about a landmark. Los Angeles City Hall is a true icon, and, by going up to the 27th floor balcony, you can see the rest of the downtown attractions like the Disney Hall and Union Station.

Completed in 1928, the City Hall tower suffered major damage from the Northridge earthquake and from earlier quakes. While the retrofitting was taking place, an amazing restoration brought the nearly 70-year-old building back to life. City Hall reopened in 2001.

The artistry throughout the building is stunning. Be sure to look up and down, as your eyes literally dance off the surfaces. Fabulous light sconces adorn walls and ceilings. Even the elevators are a delight; look for the beacon on the floor.

Then there's the cool stories and sights. For example, sand from the 58 CA counties and water from the 21 missions were used to make the concrete in the tower. The torch from the 1984 Olympics. The beacon at the top being turned on via a switch in the White House. Yes! Even today, that sounds like it would be a technological nightmare.

This is a public building, and I encourage a visit when you're downtown. Entrance is on the Main Street side, through the Security entrance. You do have to show picture ID and go through a metal detector.

No direct Web site available. Street address is 200 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles. Cross streets are Main, Temple and First. Phone is (213) 485-2121.

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